Lana Del Rey's "Lust for Life" isn't quite paradise


Lana Del Rey remains sad on "Lust for Life" (Photo courtesy of Shore Fire Media). Buy Photos

“Lust for Life” will be a treat for Lana Del Rey fans. She works with her longtime producer Rick Nowels to craft a well-produced, avant-garde record with some special guests.

But while it’s likely to beguile fans, this album might not be as enjoyable for people who haven’t already bought into Del Rey’s hypnagogic take on retro-American pop.

One of this record’s greatest strengths is Del Rey’s beautifully expressive and versatile voice.

She hits some of her high notes so well that they’ll remind you why she became such a success in the first place.

The music framing that voice is also excellent.

In the hands of Nowels, every instrument sounds slightly askew. That’s especially true of the violin and piano parts on early highlight “13 Beaches.”

It’s a great reflection of Del Rey’s unconventionalstyle.

You could imagine Trent Reznor or David Lynch liking this album.

The featured artists complement, rather than interfere, with Del Rey’s originality.

Stevie Nicks harmonizes well with Del Rey on “Beautiful People Beautiful Problems.” Sean Ono Lennon’s contributions to “Tomorrow Never Came” do not get in her way.

This album has 16 tracks, making it Del Rey’s longest work. There are some standouts, such as “Coachella - Woodstock in My Mind” and “Change.”

But some of the songs are less memorable and blend into each other, which can make sitting all the way through the record’s 72 minutes a chore.

While Del Rey’s music can be idiosyncratic and revelatory, “Lust for Life” does not have a lot of stylistic variety.

All of her songs have the same kind of melancholic strangeness and slow pace. If you are already a fan of Del Rey’s then you’ll love this album. But if you don’t, it can be a little repetitive.

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